Monthly Archives: August 2014

A Cop’s View of Use of Force

From the Washington Post:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2014/08/19/im-a-cop-if-you-dont-want-to-get-hurt-dont-challenge-me/?hpid=z10

“Community members deserve courtesy, respect and professionalism from their officers. Every person stopped by a cop should feel safe instead of feeling that their wellbeing is in jeopardy. Shouldn’t the community members extend the same courtesy to their officers and project that the officer’s safety is not threatened by their actions?”

The Space of Justice

la-la-me-c1-restorative-justice-design07-jpg-20140817

The LA Times had a very interesting article this week about seeking the input of prison inmates for architectural design.

Because the current US prison system has such high recidivism, two consultants set up a project to address the environment of the perpetrators.  Current inmates in one San Francisco jail  sketched and then presented prototype jails that included healing rooms for socialization, natural sunlight and plants,  bathrooms with increased privacy, and a waterfall.  The hope was that future builders would take the prisoners’ needs into account when designing a space meant to rehabilitate the criminal.

“Architects are sort of the psychiatrists of the system,” said Linda Bernauer, chair of the American Institute of Architects’ Academy of Architecture for Justice. “We have to listen to everyone, and victims and perpetrators don’t generally have much of a voice…The intent is to talk about how therapeutic spaces can provide better outcomes and have architects be the leaders as opposed to just being hired to do what we’re told.”

Such attention to murderers’ comfort may strike many as undeserved, and ModCon tends to agree.  Unless there can be demonstrable savings to the taxpayer, and a demonstrable contribution to public safety, for creating spaces that can heal people who have committed violent crimes, such an enterprise is not valuable.  Can a violent criminal even be rehabilitated anyway?

The Liberalization of Young Muslims

A recent AP article pointed out the feeling amongst several young Muslim Americans that their faith is more about cultural identity than rules for living.

Homosexuality, interfaith marriage, female religious leadership, and socializing in neutral, nonreligious spaces are trends started by  a non-conservative portion of the 40% of US Muslims that are American-born.

Anecdotal evidence suggests this progressive shift parallels broader religious trends amongst millenials of all religions.  Are these shifts good?  What do they mean long term?

Women and Large Political Donations

Women are severely lagging behind their wealth when it comes to giving political contributions, according to Politico.

Red-purse

This gap between wealthy women their wealthy male counterparts is attributed to a lack of candidates addressing problems for women beyond “women’s issues” like abortion or wage disparity or health research of common female diseases–problems like economic performance or climate change that many women, wealthy or not, are concerned with too. Also, women do not want to be held in a separate sphere from other large donors, or to attend smaller events like women’s teas.

Lastly, women have different values from men when it comes to deciding who to contribute to. “Women often appreciate a relationship. They appreciate knowing where their money is going, where it is going to be used, so they can feel good about their investment,” said Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY).

This concept of tailor messaging  is obviously not unheard of in politics, but it needs to become more developed and widespread for women to rise to the fore of donorship. The politicians who grasp this will succeed in the money game, which is so very correlated with the election game. As women become more common in business leadership and entrepreneurship, it’s a worthy endeavor for almost any candidate.